what i did… and the reason why

I recently did something. And I think people noticed.
They must have noticed.
That wasn’t my intent.
I caught them staring.
I found myself telling them time and again, “Hey, my eyes are up here!”

I wasn’t doing anything for attention, but I could sense they were doing double takes whenever they looked at me.
Maybe I am paranoid at times but this was real.

When I was a teen, I discovered my eyesight was challenged. So I first got glasses, then contact lenses both hard and then soft. Finally I got lasix surgery.
And it was amazing, I could see everything.

This was something else. I spent many many years denying, compensating, rationalizing and even ignoring it.
But, I couldn’t hear very well.
I was tested years ago. It was confirmed.

I chose to live with it. I learned to read lips. Sort of.
Many times I would answer unasked questions.
Or rather the answers I gave were to different questions. I could always tell by the strange looks I would get. The other person often looked confused.

I fully intended to try and get by. As best I could.
The volume levels of televisions, radios, any device really, were always on the highest setting.
Often times I would ask others to repeat, again and again.

It was OK I’d tell myself.
I often thought as I got older I would someday be left in a room alone, unable to interact with anoyone because I could not hear what they were saying.
I convinced myself that that scenario was years off into the future.
That is until one day, a few weeks ago.

I was sitting with Nico.
He was telling me about something. I couldn’t hear him.
I asked him to repeat, he did. I still couldn’t hear him.

That night I faced my reality. I needed some help. I needed to hear my grandson.
When my eyesight grew worse, I did something about it.
This was similar. It was my hearing.
So, I did do something about it.
I got a hearing device. The one I chose seemed small enough.
I tried it out gradually.

It works. It was amazing.
I can now hear people that I had assumed were always whispering. Or mumbling.
Only now did I realize they were speaking in a normal tone.
But even then, I still had yet to face my ultimate test.
I had to wear it and then speak to Nico.

I saw him at a movie theater. I asked him about the show he had just seen. And I heard him!
Not just his voice either. I heard him laugh!
I hadn’t heard the sound of his laughter in quite some time.

My eyes teared up. That was what I had been missing.

I’m still adjusting to this discovery. I’m gradually getting used to having something stuck in my ear.

I do want to say thank you for everyone who patiently repeated things to me over all these years.
But please remember one thing, I do notice your staring. The double takes.
It’s OK though.
I can now hear my grandson’s laugh.
He is the reason why, and I’m better off for it.
Thank you Nico.

And to everyone else…
Really, my eyes are still up here.


Of course, I haven’t experienced anything as dramatic as the people/kids in the video link.
Just look at heir faces as they discover hearing.


life is negotiable…

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